To Comfort The Afflicted
And Afflict The Comfortable

To Comfort The Afflicted And Afflict The Comfortable

Friday, December 1, 2023


Nothing To Offer



In 1955 Robert Ruark wrote his Pulitzer Prize winning novel Something of Value. A movie by the same name starring Rock Hudson disturbed many, as did the book, because it addressed the Mau Mau uprisings in Kenya in the early 1950s.

But on the first page Ruark included a Basuto proverb: “If a man does away with his traditional way of living and throws away his good customs, he had better first make certain that he has something of value to replace them.”

Last week I wrote a column about Mitt Romney’s corporate vulturism and how the Bain Capitals of our country stripped away traditional ways of living and threw away good customs without replacing them with anything of value.

After the Democratic Convention in Charlotte it is clearer than ever within whom the values of this country lie, at least among those who would presume to govern our great nation.

It wasn’t so much the passionate speeches by politicians, but more those by the regular citizens from whom values and customs have been stripped and who want something of value to replace them.

More clear indication of this thesis came to mind when I read and heard so-called conservative pundits and the Republican candidates continue to attack Barack Obama about anything and everything that they were responsible for.

They handed a nation to him on the brink of collapse, complain about him not fixing their mistakes fast enough and now want to replace him with someone who advocates repeating the behaviors that caused our problems in the first place.

That illogic boggles the mind until you realize who and what are promoting these lines.

A leading conservative pundit, Charles Krauthammer, thinks President Obama is insincere when he says he loves his country and the people in it. How does he know?

The Tea Party pokes fun at how the delegates looked at the Democratic convention. Did they ever see how stupid they look in their three-corner hats with dangling tea bags?

The Republicans have no strategy except to attack Barack Obama. They have thwarted everything suggested including their own ideas. They have no justification for their obstructionism except that they are not in power to continue the dismantling of not only the middle class, but also anyone else’s bones they can pick.

It is a disgrace to those who fought and died for our freedoms that veterans were never mentioned by the Republican candidate for president. It is a disgrace to everyone in this country that their people stood there and lied through their teeth about almost everything and blamed the president for their own irresponsibility. It is a disgrace to the process of electing representation that these people have such little regard for those who made them rich and indeed spit at them by telling them that it’s their fault they are poor.

These people have to attack women’s rights by forcing government intervention upon them while saying they are against government interference in peoples’ lives. One is forced to ask if the only Republican value is self-interest, or just hypocrisy by itself.

If the way to govern a nation is to ignore the needs of the majority of its citizens and fill the pockets of the wealthiest to overflowing while giving nothing of value back to that nation, then the oppressed of that nation will revolt just as the people of East Africa revolted to end the mindless and heedless exploitation by the colonists.

The people of the United States deserve something of value from those who would govern them, not the denial of opportunity.

Vern Turner is a regular contributor to The Oklahoma Observer. He lives in Marble Falls, TX, where he writes a regular column for the River Cities Daily Tribune. He is the author of three books – A Worm in the Apple: The Inside Story of Public Schools, The Voters Guide to National Salvation and Killing the Dream: America’s Flirtation With Third World Status – all available through


Arnold Hamilton
Arnold Hamilton
Arnold Hamilton became editor of The Observer in September 2006. Previously, he served nearly two decades as the Dallas Morning News’ Oklahoma Bureau chief. He also covered government and politics for the San Jose Mercury News, the Dallas Times Herald, the Tulsa Tribune and the Oklahoma Journal.
Mark Krawczyk
Mark Krawczyk
March 9, 2023
Exceptional reporting about goings on in my home state as well as informative opinion pieces that makes people think about issues of the day...........get a SUBSCRIPTION FOLKS!!!!!!!
Brette Pruitt
Brette Pruitt
September 5, 2022
The Observer carries on the "give 'em hell" tradition of its founder, the late Frosty Troy. I read it from cover to cover. A progressive wouldn't be able to live in a red state without it.